By Ken Asel
A Reading from 2 Corinthians 1:12-22
12 Indeed, this is our boast, the testimony of our conscience: we have behaved in the world with frankness and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God — and all the more towards you. 13 For we write to you nothing other than what you can read and also understand; I hope you will understand until the end — 14 as you have already understood us in part — that on the day of the Lord Jesus we are your boast even as you are our boast.
15 Since I was sure of this, I wanted to come to you first, so that you might have a double favor; 16 I wanted to visit you on my way to Macedonia, and to come back to you from Macedonia and have you send me on to Judea. 17 Was I vacillating when I wanted to do this? Do I make my plans according to ordinary human standards, ready to say “Yes, yes” and “No, no” at the same time? 18 As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been “Yes and No.” 19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not “Yes and No”; but in him it is always “Yes.” 20 For in him every one of God’s promises is a “Yes.” For this reason it is through him that we say the “Amen,” to the glory of God. 21 But it is God who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us, 22 by putting his seal on us and giving us his Spirit in our hearts as a first installment.
2 Corinthians begins in apparent disappointment. The apostle’s relationship with the Greeks seems to have deteriorated markedly since their last encounter. Paul is both hesitant to return to Corinth and anxious to mend fences: “Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our suffering, you will also share in our comfort” (v. 7). Paul also looks for news, desiring to heal his relationship with the Corinthians. Eventually he is assured by Titus in Macedonia with the good news of reconciliation.
Recently a film made its way streaming into American homes. The title is Yes Day. Mom and Dad are worn out, tired and overworked with parental responsibilities. Naturally, the children think the adults have forgotten how to be lively and, more importantly, fun. One day the parents decide turn over a new leaf, and for 24 hours they will only say “Yes” to whatever their kids want to do. Mayhem ensues, but also joy as parents and children recapture a deeper sense of being a family.
Obviously, having no boundaries with children does not turn out well. As God’s children, this is no less true of us. But as we emerge from the darkness of the past 18 months there is concern over what the Church will be able to present to a world looking for hope and joy once again, and the film may hold the clue to an answer: “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him.… It is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has commissioned us; he has put his seal upon us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, we will find every enlivening, reconciling “Yes” of God in our Lord Jesus Christ. All will be well thanks to his victory. Alleluia!
(The Reverend) J. Kenneth Asel, D.Min. is a retired priest from the Diocese of Wyoming. Devvie & he have been married 30 years and reside in the Texas Hill Country.
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Today we pray for:
St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, Shreveport, La.
The Diocese of Calgary (Anglican Church of Canada)